Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Videovangaurd presents J Scratch

I am very happy to have a new writer contributing articles and reviews to this site.  J-Scratch has been an avid film geek ever since we were kids.  I remember watching VHS greats like "Robocop", "Die Hard"  "Little Shop Of Horrors", and "Spaceballs" so much we would quote lines from it.   I will be adding a few reviews from Mr. Scratch from time to time and will give him his own page very shortly.  From the article below it's easy to see he's very passionate about movies and loves watching all kinds of genres.  Thanks for reading.

About J-Scratch:    Written by J-Scratch

I live for and am driven by visual and audio stimulation, it is the end all be all for myself. I've been playing, writing, recording music for a couple of decades now. I also work in the photography business driving the visual side of things. For as long as I can remember I've always been fascinated with movies and television. When I was younger several of my friends volunteered at the local public access station to get into that world of creativity. We would take on all sorts of roles within the studio helping make TV shows, talk shows, and various other projects. I didn't care if I was running the cameras (however this is my favorite), directing shows, instructing people, set creation, editing. I loved it all. We would also check out their equipment to make our own projects, which often times ended up as school projects. We would dabble in anything we could think of, including stop motion animation with various objects we would find around the house. We lived for this stuff, every waking moment it was something in the realm of media. Recording radio shows with skits and stories, drawing and illustrating our own comic books and movies. Almost every bit of money we could scrounge and collect growing up went to either music, movies, video games or comic books. Not very uncommon I guess you would say for kids. However we made it our mission to not just watch movies but to apply the entire experience to our lives and it came through on our various projects. Not only the stories but all the techniques, lighting, visual colors and certain unique styles that drew our attention. We tried to be very diverse and do it all. I would say it has defined the type of person I am today. After all you can't do something on that type of scale, with that amount of interest for so long and not have it affect your life.

With movies specifically, I will say there is no magic formula to making a great movie. However I find the most enjoyable and memorable movies for me are the emotional draining types that quite literally pull you in and make you truly experience the movie and feel like a part of it. Not that you have a say in what is going on but you feel you are in the midst of the storyline and not just some splashy effects and random dialog that is tossed up on the screen that you just happen to be facing. Call it what you like but what I call a GREAT movie is one that has an emotional investment/experience for the viewer. One that keeps you engaged, you can't stop watching it, you could hear military sirens going off around you but you just can't pull yourself away from the story, even if you've seen it a dozen times before. Movies that stay with you in life and perhaps speak to your inner self and having a special meaning. This can be accomplished in many different ways I find. For an example, you could take a mediocre story but the actors/actress' bring it to life and "made" the movie great. Or the opposite, maybe the acting was less than ideal or convincing but the story was perfect! Perhaps the visuals or lighting capture your eye and accent the picture in just that special way to make the story pull you in. I'm totally willing to accept less than stellar anything as long as there are other attributes that make up the differences, I could still consider it to be a GREAT movie.

Movies can have a dramatically different effect on different people and that's why we love them so much. One movie might be total garbage to one person and yet be some supreme masterpiece to another. In addition to this I love how the same movie can have a different feel and effect on the same person in different stages of their life. But I will agree with some out there that sometimes you just need "something to watch" without the drain or getting sucked in. I can appreciate those movies as well.

Whatever it is, I think there is a natural drive in many of us that draws us to movies, and for good reason. Movies can entertain us, teach us, provoke every possible emotion and thought, humble us and of course motivate and inspire us. Inspiration is a POWERFUL thing. While I have particular likes and dislikes in movies I consider myself to be very open to stories and everything that goes into a picture. I do tend to enjoy the more unconventional or less traditional styles of movies, in comparison to some. Ones that might not have the all endearing happy ending. Not to say I dislike when things don't go well, it's just all in how it's done for me. So I say write up ANY story you can imagine, I will watch it and see how it goes. I'm proud to say I have been completely awe struck and amazed when I see a movie and you think "ugh, this will be very bad" and it proves you wrong and it turns out to be a truly great movie. I love when that happens. So all bets are off, there is no perfect or magical formula for movies in my book. Enough about me, on with the show! I hope you enjoy the reviews.

Favorite Movies - the Short List
* Sunshine
* The Fall


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